Finally, Someone Is Opening a Bacon Bar in Chicago

Burke’s Bacon Bar, where all the sandwiches have some kind of bacon, is coming this summer to the James Hotel.

Photo: Bill Hogan / Chicago Tribune 

Side of bacon with your bacon?

You young whippersnappers may not remember this, but there was a time when it seemed novel to have a shop that sold only cupcakes. So it was only a matter of time before an entire business would be devoted to a food whose popularity rivals the cupcake, pre-doughnut: smoky, fatty, salty, festival-inspiring bacon.

Burke’s Bacon Bar (The James, 610 N. Rush St., 312-660-7200) moves into the former J Bar space in late July, selling small sandwiches that all somehow involve bacon. “Not everything has, like, a strip of bacon,” says Rick Gresh, the chef at Burke’s Bacon Bar, as well as the adjacent David Burke’s Primehouse (The James, 616 N. Rush St., 312-660-6000). “It could be made into a powder or a dressing or something.” And not all the bacons are made from pork—Gresh cites lamb bacon and a testing-in-progress vegetarian version.

The sandwichlets, which the Burkers are calling “handwiches,” will cost around $10 for three, which will constitute a lunch’s worth, or $3.75 each. From a mix of 25 to 30 recipes, nine or 10 will be available at any given time. You could try the Chilly Willy, a lobster roll riff in which shrimp is mixed with celery, apple, bacon fat, mayonnaise, lemon zest, sriracha, and lemon juice, then served on a mini lobster roll bun with lardo and bacon breadcrumbs.

But what if bacon is just another food fad, albeit an abnormally long-lasting one? “Bacon has been around a long time,” Gresh says. That it has. Longer than even us old folks.




Comments to this blog are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, and irrelevancies.

Submit your comment